GUILHEM Herd : High quality Genetics

POPULAIR is a Charolais bull with a very fitting name. Known and appreciated by breeders both in France and abroad, this 2006 « Maternal Qualities Champion » was born at the farm of Jean-Marc GUILHEM, in the Saône & Loire department (71). UNIBLOC, another bull originating from this farm, has also recently entered the selection program of Gènes Diffusion as one of the leading bulls of this year’s autumn release. We pay a visit to the breeder of these two bulls which are featured in the Charolais Optimal catalogue.

Denis FARADJI (left), sire analyst at Coop Evolia with Jean-Marc GUILHEM (right) Jean-Marc GUILHEMJean-Marc GUILHEM, who established his farm 32 years ago, is not your usual kind of breeder. This administrator at Coop Evolia was born in Lyon, and laid the basis for his herd by buying so-called « Bulier » cows, named after the salesman who sold the cows at the time.

Generally, the genetic program of the farm is based on three main objectives: growth, calving ease and maternal qualities. « They are excellent cows for breeding, » explains Denis FARADJI, sire analyst at Coop Evolia and responsible for the matings in the herd. Among the Charolais bulls that were used in the 2008-2009 campaign, we find bulls such as SUEDOIS, TOULON, SYDNEY and already SISTERON (on contract cows). With respect to the selection program, Jean-Marc GUILHEM has also shown interest in the Polled bulls, realizing matings with future cracks such as ZARP SC and UNO SC.

POPULAIR, a bull which confirms

POPULAIRBorn on the 2nd day of December 1999, POPULAIR comes from the outcross combination of HABIT x BLASON – « which kept all his promises, » as can be read in the various Charolais Optimal catalogues. This HABIT son, to be used on mature cows, is a transmitter « with excellent type and growth potential » explains Denis FARADJI. Based on farm test figures of more than 8,600 calves (!), the quality and precision of his breeding values don’t need any further confirmation. POPULAIR also distinguishes himself with the growth at 24 months of the females at farms, as is confirmed by 1,500 females to date. His first IBOVAL results have already confirmed the exceptional quality of the bull, with no less than 107 points AVel. His ALait value – that should arrive in the spring of 2010 – so far looks very good as well. « Honestly, this is a bull that will make an impression, » foresees the Charolais sire analyst.

JUSTICE, mother of POPULAIRThe family that produced POPULAIR has started with the foundation cow Jeunette, bought at Agonges in the first years of the farm’s existence. At that time she was mated with VALENTIN, a NUPTIAL son born at the farm. This combination produced the cow Dalila, who in turn was mated with BLASON to produce the famous Justice cow, POPULAIR’s dam. « With this family I never have had any problems, not a single Caesarean or abortion, » confirms Jean-Marc GUILHEM. Growth being his main focus, the breeder has succeeded in getting all females in POPULAIR’s family calving as 2-year-olds.

Justice was a « pretty girl », much in demand, who realized an impressive production. Between 1996 and 2005 this BLASON daughter was at the origin of 21 products, among which, of course, POPULAIR, born in 1999. Justice was used extensively as an embryo donor and has seen her embryos being exported all over the world: to the United States, Equator, Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway…

UNIBLOC, the ideal bull to produce high quality females

UNIBLOCJust like his colleague POPULAIR, in 2009 also UNIBLOC has been awarded the title « Maternal Qualities Champion ». Although he can only be used on heifers, this OHIO x IMPAIR son is close to perfection. Judge for yourself: He corresponds with the sire line that brings easy calving for heifers. To that he adds some of the best capacities for growth and conformation at weaning, which explains his outstanding ISEVR level (118). As for his fattening abilities, these are guaranteed by his total index of 109 for this trait. « He is an all-round bull, » says Denis FARADJI, to which he adds that he « also very well maintains his milk value level ».

The family behind UNIBLOC started with a female that was bought when Jean-Marc GUILHEM established his farm. After that female, various bulls have played their part to create a reliable, high quality basis: OHIO x IMPAIR x DAF x CAMELEON x TOUTOU x JISCARD x HUSSARD. As with the family behind POPULAIR, the farmer has fared equally well with the various combinations in this family. The Rosalie cow, UNIBLOC’s dam, is still part of the herd. « The cow is a good representative of the breed, shows great beef qualities and is very dairy as well. As for production, she has always produced above farm average, » comments her breeder. Virginie, full sister to UNIBLOC, is still present in the herd According to Denis FARADJI, « Rosalie is a cow that can still produce some interesting offspring. She will be reassessed to have her genetics distributed in the form of embryo offers to enrich the selection base, » says the Charolais specialist. As if to prove that, Rosalie has recently been flushed to TEMPO, a combination that promises a calf with a very attractive pedigree: LAKANAL x CASAOR. « Rosalie’s genetic level is like her production: very consistent and successful, » adds Denis FARADJI.

Exactly the right cows

The Herd of Jean-Marc GUILHEMMaybe because of his unusual profile (Jean-Marc GUILHEM does not come from an agricultural background) the breeder has decided to use genetics to build up a herd which, today, has become a point of reference in the world of Charolais. The breeder has had faith in his AI cooperative, that helped him choose the right matings to build a herd with high genetic value. Being the passionate breeder that he is, Jean-Marc GUILHEM continues to produce audacious genetics by making very original combinations, such as, for example, using SYDNEY on heifers. The genetic level obtained via breeding allows him to make such combinations for, as Denis FARADJI explains, « he has the kind of cows with which you can do that ».

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